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Did you read Part 1 of this series? In this Part 2, we continue to share tips on travelling with persons with special needs.

2. Travelling With Elderly People

Another class of special needs persons is the elderly. Elderly people may look strong and full of knowledge, but they need yourself when travelling. So we have listed out what you should know about travelling with people with special needs.

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Before they embark on a trip, make sure they:

Go for a check-up with their doctor before any trip. There are some drugs or immunizations they may need to take, especially before travelling to certain states or countries. For example, anti-malaria, heart or diabetic drugs, polio or yellow fever vaccine, etc.

Keep their personal medications and extra rolls of toilet paper close. If they are flying, put it in your hand luggage. If they are travelling by road, put it in the handbag they will carry with you in the car.

Note changes in time zones to avoid missing the scheduled time for their medication and meals. Speaking of mealtime, diabetic patients should not take their insulin medication unless they have a meal close by.

Get medical and travel insurance coverage. Read the policies properly. Look out for clauses or exceptions and their implications. Know the terms for repatriation in case of illnesses. Also, get a referral letter from your doctor in case you need treatment in the country you are travelling to. Know the billing system for hospital treatment in the country you are travelling to.

Be careful of the hygienic conditions for what they will eat or drink. If they must eat anything, boil, bottle, peel or cook it yourself. When in doubt, stick to prepackaged snacks and liquids whose origin you are sure of.

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Eat lightly during the trip. This will reduce your need for the restroom and any other discomfort. Avoid foods that will make you expel gas after eating.

Ensure to keep them away from anywhere they can get bitten by disease carriers like animals or insects.

If they have issues with diabetes, monitor their glucose level and flexibility to avoid hypo or hyperglycemia during their trip.  

If they are travelling by flight, plan their visit to the restroom. Make sure they avoid going during peak periods, such as after meals or before landing. If they are travelling by road, be ready to make occasional stops to enable them to relieve themselves as often as possible.

Make sure you are patient and understanding when you travel with the elderly.

Have you ever travelled with your grandparents or elderly relatives before? Share with us how the trip was like and what points you connected with from this piece.


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This article was first published on 21st March 2022


Ann Esievoadje is a freelance writer who is passionate about encouraging a reading culture and personal development. She has authored two books, The Quilt (fiction) and Being Mummy and Me (non-fiction). She manages Pulchra Publishing which offers a content creation/editing, transcription, different forms of writing (including Ghostwriting) service and her blog, Life Love and Anything Goes at You can reach her at

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